Does air pollution affect trees in urban areas or do the trees affect air pollution?

Main area:Ecology
Target group:Biology, Biochemistry
Educational level:Bachelor, Masters
Project description:

Trees growing in city parks or roadsides can improve air quality by photosynthesis and stomatal uptake of air pollutants (ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides; O3, SO2, NOX). A part of the carbon fixed in photosynthesis is used for production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which plants use for communication with insects or other plants. These VOCs also react with NOX to produce harmful ozone, and may condense forming aerosol particles. In this project, the tree species used in city parks and roadsides are surveyed for their value for air quality. It is also possible to assess how air pollution present in urban areas affects the functioning of the plants e.g. by measuring photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence and stomatal conductance.
Read more about the activities of the BVOC group

Methods used:Field measurement of VOC emission, photosynthesis etc., lab analysis on GC-MS
Keywords:Air pollution, Photosynthesis, City planning, Urban Ecology, Air quality
Supervisor(s):  Riikka Rinnan